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Children of the Nazi era

The so-called "Nazi children" are children of the members of Nazi or Fascist parties established before or during World War II.

Table of contents
1 Children of Nazi party members
2 The Lebensborn
3 The Lebensborn in Norway
4 Books
5 Kidnapping children from occupied countries
6 External links

Children of Nazi party members

Although innocent of any war crime committed by their parents' generation, these children have felt themselves condemned by the crimes uncovered in the subsequent prosecution of their parents' generation after the end of World War II. As they grew to adolescence and adulthood in the 1960s, they harbored the feelings of guilt and shame which their parents rejected. The winners did nothing to rescue the Nazi children from absorbing the guilt. The children read the map and did what was expected of them.

They lived with their identity in an inner exile until the late 80s when some of them managed to present themselves officially. Dörte von Westernhagen, the German daughter of an SS officer, wrote about the Nazi children in the book "Die Kinder der Täter" in 1987. The same year the Norwegian NS child Bente Blehr refused anonymity when an interview with her was published in "Born Guilty", a collection of 12 interviews with NS children. The first autobiography by a Nazi child, dedicated to all of them, was also issued in Norway : "The Boy from Gimle" (1993) by Eystein Eggen. "The Organization of Norwegian NS Children" was established in 1991 as the first self-help group exclusively organized by Nazi children.

See also:

The Lebensborn

Nazi Germany's Lebensborn (fountain of life) plan was a human breeding plan intended to expand the "Aryan race", who were to be the new master race of Europe.

Under the plan by Heinrich Himmler, German men were encouraged to produce children with "racially pure" Aryans. The plan was adopted in 1936, and stated that every SS member should father 4 children. Unmarried mothers had the opportunity of living in special homes and receive financial support, while the children would be adopted.

The Lebensborn in Norway

The Lebensborn programme operated mainly in Germany. In Norway the term Lebensborn is most commonly used in describing children of Norwegian mothers and German fathers. No documented Lebensborn breeding home existed in Norway, but around the country, 15 nursery centers called Lebensborn homes took care of the babies and their Norwegian unmarried mothers.

At the end of the Second World War, they were abandoned and most of them were said to have been subjected to crimes such as torture, violations, and physical and psychological violence at the hands of Norwegians. They were shunned by children and adults alike. Some were beaten, struck with stones, raped, as well as denied educational opportunities. In one case, an adult set a 7 year old boy on fire. Since the Lebensborn were a heavy burden for their mothers, many were put in homes, where they also experienced similar abuse. In many homes they were addressed by numbers instead of their names.

The new government and psychatrists encouraged this type of behaviour and assured the people that they should not compare the treatment of the Lebensborn to the German treatment of the Jews, since there had to be something "wrong with people that wanted to be in family with, and of German soldiers".

Some Lebensborn children are now trying to obtain official recognition for their past mistreatment, which some claim equates to an attempt at genocide.

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Kidnapping children from occupied countries

Lebensborn officials were also involved in kidnapping children from occupied countries, e.g. Polish, Czech and French children. Approximatly. 50.000 to 200.000 Polish children were kidnapped, those who after examination were deemed "aryan" enough were then sent, with falsified birth certificates, to selected families, which were told for example that they were adopting children of killed soldiers. Most of those children never returned to their original families and their descendants usually don't even know that they are in some part Poles.

External links